How to move the taskbar in Windows 11

One of the big changes introduced by Microsoft in Windows 11 is a centered taskbar and Start menu. Instead of being off to the left side of the screen, it’s now in the middle, right where your eyes tend to go on your display and where macOS users will be used to their own icons residing.

If you have muscle memory from the ghosts of Windows past, though, and really want to put the taskbar back to its original place, then we have some good news for you — it’s easily movable in just a few steps. Here’s how to do just that.

Windows 11 on a laptop in front of a colorful background.

Important note

It is not currently possible to drag and move the entire taskbar to the right, left, or top of the screen. This option has been removed in the early versions of Windows 11. If you really want to do that, then be sure to stay on Windows 10. We’re just talking about the orientation of the icons in this post.

How to move the taskbar

You can move the taskbar via the Taskbar Settings menu. Here’s how to do that:

Step 1: Right-click on the taskbar. Just as things worked in Windows 10, you’ll want to begin the process of moving the taskbar by right-clicking on any open space in it. You should then see a pop-up menu that features the Taskbar settings option.

Taskbar settings on Windows 11.

Arif Bacchus/Digital Trends

Step 2: Select that option, and it will open up a new settings menu. Alternatively, you also can open up the settings app and search for Taskbar settings.

Step 3: There should be a subsection at the bottom of the Taskbar settings screen that mentions Taskbar behaviors. Select that section to expand it. From here, look for Taskbar alignment.

The taskbar on the left of the screen in Windows 11 and the Taskbar Setting screen.

Arif Bacchus/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

Step 4: Select the drop-down menu to the right of Taskbar alignment, and choose Left from the drop-down menu.

Step 5: After you choose this, the taskbar will snap back to the left side of the screen automatically. There are no reboots required — the change is instant. Your taskbar and Start menu will go back to the position as it was in Windows 10, helping makes things just as they were in the older versions of Windows.

Other changes you can make

Since you’re in the taskbar settings menu, you might want to adjust some other taskbar settings.

Step 1: If you don’t like seeing notification counts, you can turn off the badges. To do so, navigate to the Taskbar behaviors subsection again, then uncheck the box next to Show badges on taskbar apps.

Step 2: You also can show the taskbar on all your displays (if you have multiple displays) and toggle the ability to select the corner to show the desktop.

To do either of the above, go to Taskbar behaviors again and check the boxes next to their respective options:

  • Show my taskbar on all displays
  • Select the far corner of the taskbar to show the desktop

Step 3: And if you’re the type of person who prefers to keep the taskbar clean, you can toggle off icons for the different system apps in the taskbar and even turn off the icons for different system items. That includes search, task view, chat, and widgets. To do so, go to Taskbar settings, and then select Taskbar items. Then toggle off or on each taskbar button listed.

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